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July Advocate: CCAA changes receive royal assent - U of T granted injunction to remove encampment - Foreign interference legislation

Every month we send our supporters a newsletter with the latest CAUT and post-secondary education sector news. This newsletter was published on July 10, 2024. Subscribe to get the newsletter straight to your inbox.

July 2024

Legislation excluding public post-secondary education from CCAA receives royal assent

Legislation to remove publicly funded post-secondary education institutions from the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) received royal assent last month. 

This victory came after years of pressure from academic staff pushing politicians to follow through on their commitments to exclude public post-secondary education institutions from the CCAA. 

Thank you for fighting to ensure that public universities or colleges will no longer face the same problems as Laurentian University in 2021 when the administration filed for insolvency protection, bypassing collective agreements. 

This win shows the power of collective action and solidarity to ensure that colleges and universities serve the public interest. 

Court grants U of T injunction to remove encampment

On July 2, the Ontario Superior Court granted U of T’s request to remove a pro-Palestinian encampment on campus.  

Justice Markus Koehnen rejected the university’s claims that the protest at Front Campus was antisemitic or posed a safety risk. However, he found that as the owner of the property in question, the university had the right to determine how the space could be used. 

“The decision is disappointing because it simply asserts the supremacy of the university's private property rights,” said CAUT executive director David Robinson. “There is no nuance or recognition that universities are given their space by government with the express goal of promoting the free exchange of ideas.” 

Along with the Canadian Federation of Students (Ontario) and the Centre for Free Expression, CAUT intervened in the hearing to make the case that the university should be permitted to limit peaceful assembly and free expression only in cases where there is imminent danger to persons, serious violations of the law, or major disruptions to the institution’s operations. 

Foreign interference bill rushed through parliament

CAUT joined with several civil society organizations to issue a joint statement to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security to express concern about Bill C-70, An Act respecting countering foreign interference

The groups warned that a rushed legislative process with next to no public debate or parliamentary review may result in laws that violate Charter-protected rights and freedoms. 

Bill C-70 introduces extensive changes to national security, intelligence and criminal justice systems, and creates a foreign influence transparency registry. 

CAUT’s virtual courses for the 2024-25 academic year

Discover CAUT’s list of virtual courses for the upcoming academic year. 

The courses and workshops cover essential topics that will help elevate the skills and knowledge of academic staff association activists: collective bargaining, organizing, communications, grievance handling, labour action for equity, and job action preparation

It is a fantastic opportunity to network with colleagues from across the country. 

  • Contact your academic staff association if you are interested in a virtual course 

CAUT Aboriginal Academic Staff Conference

Don’t miss your chance to join Indigenous academic staff and their allies in Regina, Saskatchewan, on October 4 and 5. CAUT’s Aboriginal Academic Staff Conference will explore the progress made to date and further steps needed to Indigenize the academy. 

Share your insights with the CAUT Bulletin

We invite you to contribute to upcoming issues of the Bulletin. Your submissions provide valuable analysis on the pressing issues facing academic staff today. 

Whether you have a thoughtful commentary (around 700 words) or a concise letter to the editor (up to 300 words), we want to hear from you. Have a bigger story to tell? Pitch us your ideas for a feature article. 

AMPL suspends strike

The Association of McGill Professors of Law (AMPL) has temporarily suspended its strike after nearly 8 weeks on the line. 

With negotiations continuing, the union has not ruled out returning to picket lines if McGill University continues to refuse to engage in good-faith collective bargaining

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